How to go from swing & miss to home run glory

P4T Episode 1: How to go from swing & miss to home run glory!
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This Pause for Thought looks at how the parallels between video marketing and the story of baseball’s Billy Beane are strangely similar. Beane’s story centres around him encountering (and challenging) a world were decisions are made based on subjective and flawed information. The same is often true in video marketing, where gut feel, and personal tastes massively influence what gets made. This episode of P4T shows how if you ignore this convention and choose a more rigorous strategic method of making video, you can quite literally smash the ball out of the park.

Evelyn Timson


The movie Moneyball is based on the true story of an underdog baseball team, who went from bottom of the league, to a 20 game winning streak defying the conventional wisdom of the game. Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, the Manager who forms an unlikely partnership with an economist to redefine the value of players on a team. The story’s basic premise is that the conventional approach to assembling a team is often subjective and flawed. A more rigorous and strategic analysis reveals unseen opportunities in players that are previously undervalued. Much to the frustration of the old school scouts, who favour gut intuition over insight… Video Marketing is a similar arena where gut feel and even personal taste massively influence decisions about what gets made. But with so much video content out there to compete with, do we need to stop thinking of video as a mainly artistic endeavour? What can Marketeers learn from Moneyball? 


Number 1 – you need to really know your audience.


Today we have unprecedented access to big data. But whilst brands maybe plugged into the numbers….they often fail to recognise specific customer needs.  When we look deeper than top-line demographics and customer personas, we uncover the less obvious stuff: The interests, passions, unanswered questions, fears, frustrations, and motivations of the people we’re trying to engage with. When video content doesn't work, it’s normally because a brand hasn’t told a story that the target audience can attach meaning or value to. Because more often than not - you are not your target market.  So check you’re not bringing personal and unconscious bias to the table.


Number 2. Like Billy Beane you need define a plan and stick with it.


All too often video gets made in silos and the results are content islands - one offs that pop-up but rarely join up to tell a consistent story.What do you think Billy Beane say? Don’t just look at the individual player, consider the team, don’t just focus on the next game, plan for the season. Then you when you have a long term strategy, you can define your play-by-play tactics for each game. So you really know your audience, and you’ve defined a video strategy, but isn’t creative flare still an essential ingredient? What Moneyball shows is that insights allow us to make informed decisions – which in turn gives creatives a better chance at hitting a home run. After all it is still a moment of human creativity that connects the bat with the ball, and gets the crowd on their feet as they watch it fly right out of the park! Thanks for watching. Don’t be afraid to subscribe and look out for more videos about video.


  • Moneyball (2011)


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